TAYLORSVILLE, KY (WAVE) – It has been a heated issue, but after much debate, voters in one of 49 dry Kentucky counties approved alcohol sales. In Spencer County, nearly 60% of voters decided to take the county off the list of four dozen dry counties.
Spencer County has always been dry, a little island, surrounded by counties that do allow alcohol sales.
"I like a small town and that's part of the reason we moved out here," said Spencer County resident Richard Hays.
What's been a draw for some, has been a drawback for others.
"We can go to Shelby County to get liquor and Jefferson County. You might as well be able to buy liquor here," said resident George Koppel.
On Tuesday, a special election forced the debate to end and voters to make a decision. When the votes were tallied, the answer to the question, "Are you in favor of sales of alcoholic beverages in Spencer County?" was yes. The final results were 2767 yes votes to 1928 no votes, a difference of just 839 votes. Election officials estimate 40% voter turnout.
"We really think it will be great to bring in some economic development into Taylorsville and that was the main reason we voted yes," said Chuck Willey, who moved to Spencer County two years ago from Wisconsin.
"There are a lot of people who work in Louisville or Shelby County who live here but drive to work somewhere else. I think those people coming in affected the vote," said Chris Bradshaw, who also voted in favor of alcohol sales.
Kentucky Alcoholic Beverage Control says Spencer County only qualifies for eight packaged liquor licenses because of its size. There will be an unlimited amount of beer licenses. Qualifying restaurants will only be able to serve beer and wine by the drink. There will be no sales of liquor by the drink or any mixed drinks.